February 4, 2023
Have you ever seen me wearing a crazy, laser-light helmet on my head, with red-flashing nasal probes shoved into my nostrils, and thought…
…“What the heck is that, and why would someone ever choose such a horrific fashion statement?”
But stick with me here because there's actually something to the science of this so-called use of “photobiomodulation.” A lot of something and a lot of science.
The basis of all your thoughts, behavior, and emotions is the communication between your neuronal networks. This interaction leads to the formation of neural electrical signals known as brainwaves. Brain stimulation via photobiomodulation stimulates neuronal mitochondria, which increases cellular energy levels. This results in improved efficiency in neural signaling and communication.
The “helmet” red light technology I wear – which I don three to four times per week for 25 minutes – is the first in the world to demonstrate the ability to modulate and alter brainwaves using NIR electromagnetic (light) energy, measured through EEG. Delivering pulsed near-infrared (NIR) light energy into the brain’s Default Mode Network (DMN) upgrades brain capability, increases longevity, and improves physiological health. Microchip-boosted cold LED diodes in this setup – made by a company called “Vielight” (use code GREENFIELD to save 10%) – can safely maximize energy transmission into the brain, and intranasal photobiomodulation technology is used for ventral brain stimulation. Transcranial-intranasal systems like this enable comprehensive, non-invasive, and safe brain photobiomodulation.
In fact, the Vielight Neuro is the world’s most-researched brain photobiomodulation device. It delivers 810 nm near-infrared (NIR) energy to the brain’s Default Mode Network (DMN) via four transcranial LED modules and a nasal applicator. Vielight Neuro transcranial-intranasal technology offers an unparalleled advantage for improving mental acuity and neuromodulation.
Neuro Alpha causes alpha wave activity that correlates with the alpha flow state, mental calmness, and stress reduction. You can read a published abstract of a study with the Vielight Neuro Alpha device on Alpha brain waves here. Neuro Gamma wave frequency correlates with energization, problem-solving, and focus. You can read a published study with the Vielight Neuro Gamma device on Gamma brain waves here. The Vielight X-Plus targets vital structures within your body: the cerebellum, thymus gland, and nasal vascular area. It can be combined with the Vielight Neuro as a complete brain-systemic photobiomodulation system.
The technology of Vielight dates back to 1995 in Silicon Valley – when the founders, Dr. Lew Lim, who first joined me on the episode How To Use Low Level Light Therapy and Intranasal Light Therapy For Athletic Performance, Cognitive Enhancement & More – and a group of engineers explored the potential of intranasal photobiomodulation. Intranasal photobiomodulation devices were commercially developed in 2003 which were later trademarked as “Vielight” when the company was incorporated in 2011.
Over the years, Vielight's focus shifted towards the development of unique photobiomodulation devices which enhance cognition and performance, among other things. Their team has since evolved into a formidable team of engineers, scientists, and business professionals dedicated to taking the technology to as many people as possible. My guest on this show, Dr. Lew Lim, is an engineer with additional diplomas in Medical Neuroscience and Business and Accountancy. He obtained his degrees and diplomas from the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Sheffield, Duke University, and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK, and is an expert in the use of photobiomodulation.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-Vielight and Dr. Lew Lim…08:07
- Brain Photobiomodulation – stimulating brain waves using light
- Stimulate the mitochondria in the neural cells; increase cellular energy in the brain
- Vielight (use code GREENFIELD to save 10%)
- Previous podcast with Dr. Lew Lim:
-The beginnings of Photo Modulation Technology…11:23
- In the early 90s, experimenting with lasers
- Photo modulation technology was developed in the Soviet block
- Phototherapy was discovered in 1967 in Hungary
- Russians were injecting red light into veins
- Today, many practitioners still inject laser lights into the vein
- Red and infra-red light can penetrate through the skin
- Nose is the best area for penetration
- Light is absorbed by an enzyme (cytochrome c-oxidase) to initiate ATP production
- The wavelength of the light influences how much is absorbed
-Why different wavelengths are used…16:43
- Longer wavelengths penetrate deeper, going to near-infrared to infra-red
- Spectrum of electromagnetic field
- Why don’t we just use long wavelengths?
- Cytochrome c-oxidase only responds to certain wavelengths, around 600nm to below 1000 nm
- Different wavelengths and pulse rates have different effects on the brain
- 810nm is used in most devices like the Neuro Duo, allows you to go back and forth between the Alpha and Gamma, will either pulse at 10Hz or 40Hz
- Started with 10Hz for the Alpha, first prototype for dementia
- Moved to 40Hz after the research and literature developed, suggesting it improves memory
- 40Hz reduces inattention, slow thinking, sleepiness
- 10Hz is the default mode
- 10Hz delivered the best outcome for TBI
- Ben uses the Neuro Duo, 810 nm with a pulse at 10Hz or 40Hz (use code GREENFIELD to save 10%)
- Modulation of cortical oscillations using 10hz near-infrared transcranial and intranasal photobiomodulation: a randomized sham-controlled crossover study
- Pulsed Near Infrared Transcranial and Intranasal Photobiomodulation Significantly Modulates Neural Oscillations: a pilot exploratory study
-The differences between Vielight models…23:16
- The 655 Prime Intranasal model uses a low-level laser, not LED (use code GREENFIELD to save 10%)
- The difference between lasers and LED
- Lasers deliver coherent light
- Up until 2005 most low-level light therapies were based on lasers
- New studies show that it’s not the coherence of the laser that matters, it’s the wavelength and enzymes being more receptive of photons of these wavelengths
- Lasers are a bit more effective but not significantly
- Lasers are regulated by the FDA with several risk levels
- LEDs don't have safety concerns associated with lasers
- The Neuro Duo uses near-infrared LED, switches between alpha and =gamma
- Alpha is good for general health
- Gamma is used by people who meditate and are reporting some altered state, some shift
- One user reports experience similar to that of psilocybin at 400Hz
- NeuroPro has higher, more powerful signal
- More modules
- Lets you choose the frequency, increase it up to 10,000 Hertz
- Neuro feedback component
- Can be used to train the brain to normalize
- Brainwave study reveals psychedelic DMT produces “waking-dream” state
-Why would you use systemic lights vs. just the brain light…38:51
- The X-Plus was initially developed to boost the immune system
- X-Plus nasal applicator (use code GREENFIELD to save 10%)
- Comes with two modules
- One for the head
- One positioned over the thymus
- Used for COVID-19 study to assess the recovery from COVID-19 severe infection
- The X-Plus is being evaluated by the FDA and Health Canada to indicate as a treatment for COVID infection and Vielight is now preparing for a long COVID clinical trial
- Production of subcellular melatonin as a response to the light produced by the X-PLUS on the body
- Subcellular melatonin, which actually helps the cells to stay in a healthy state because melatonin is also antioxidant
- Different from the melatonin from the pineal gland, which goes into your circulatory system
- Why photobiomodulation is effective in keeping people healthy and helping to deal with free radicals
- X-Plus uses 633-nm wavelength kind of if you combine the two getting both the benefits of the 600-ish nanometer wavelength light plus the 810 nanometer
- Choose to place it over either the thymus or the cerebellum or the gut depending on which area you want to target for treatment
-Post-concussive syndromes and TBI…47:29
- Repetitive concussions develop into CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy)
- CTE is a progressive neurodegenerative disease
- Former football players suffer from CTE are also experiencing PTSD, sleep problems, depression
- Remarkable improvement with red light therapy ; more work coming
- Improvement of performance in healthy athletes
- Chronic pain management
- There is enough proof that photobiomodulation reduces inflammatory factors
- Chronic pain is connected to inflammation
- Photobiomodulation helps to reduce the presence of free radicals
-Logistical usage and best practices…58:44
- For healthy people who just want to maintain good health, once every two days because there is a risk of overdoing stuff
- Ben’s protocol is 3x a week
- For high-stress activities like competitive sports, you could do once a day or maybe pre and post-activity
- Combining with supplements or other biohacks
- Vielight (use code GREENFIELD to save 10%)
-And much more…
- Six Senses Retreat: February 27, 2023 – March 3, 2023
Join me for my “Boundless Retreat” at Six Senses from February 27th, 2023 to March 3rd, 2023, where you get to improve on your functional fitness, nutrition, longevity, and the delicate balance between productivity and wellness. Complete with a healthy farmhouse breakfast, yoga spa sessions, and sound healing, you learn how to live a boundless life just like me, and I'd love to see you there. Learn more here.
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar!
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Dr. Lew Lim:
- Vielight (use code GREENFIELD to save 10%)
– Other Resources:
- Shilajit (use code BEN20 to save 20%)
- Methylene Blue
- Hyperbaric Chamber
- PEMF Mat
- Brainwave Study Reveals Psychedelic DMT Produces “Waking-Dream” State
- Home-Use Photobiomodulation Device Treatment Outcomes for COVID-19
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Six Senses Event: Join me in this beautiful 19th-century wine estate in Portugal and enjoy treatments that go beyond the ordinary in Six Senses Spa. Ten treatment rooms and an indoor pool with chromotherapy and an underwater sound system offer a unique and layered wellness experience. Try delicious food made with local sensitivity and global sensibility. Head over to bengreenfieldlife.com/sixsenses and claim your spot today.
Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Lew Lim or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!